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Diet for a hot planet

(article, Culinate staff)

The latest article in the ongoing New York Times "Temperature Rising" series about climate change is focused on how farmers and scientists around the world are trying to adapt the crops we all depend upon to survive:

bq. A rising unease about the future of the world’s food supply came through during interviews this year with more than 50 agricultural experts working in nine countries. These experts say that in coming decades, farmers need to withstand whatever climate shocks come their way while roughly doubling the amount of food they produce to meet rising demand. And they need to do it while reducing the considerable environmental damage caused by the business of agriculture. 

That's a tall order, especially given the rising global demand for water and meat. Even with Feed the Future, a U.S.-backed initiative, the world will need a second (and presumably more environmentally friendly) Green Revolution to keep up with the future:

bq. The United Nations recently projected that global population would hit 10 billion by the end of the century, 3 billion more than today. Coupled with the demand for diets richer in protein, the projections mean that food production may need to double by later in the century.

bq. Unlike in the past, that demand must somehow be met on a planet where little new land is available for farming, where water supplies are tightening, where the temperature is rising, where the weather has become erratic and where the food system is already showing serious signs of instability.